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"Travel is a huge inspiration for me as an entrepreneur": TwentySeven Bakehouse and Masque founder Aditi Dugar

Teaming up with Chef Rachelle Andrade, Masque restaurant founder’s new bakery finds inspiration from across the world.

August 28, 2022 / 06:28 PM IST
Croissant Cubes at TwentySeven Bakehouse.

Croissant Cubes at TwentySeven Bakehouse.

Helmed by Aditi Dugar, founder of the ingredient-driven restaurant Masque, TwentySeven Bakehouse in Mahalaxmi is the newest addition to Mumbai’s bakery scene.

With Chef Rachelle Andrade heading the kitchen, the menu takes inspiration from different parts of the world. With their penchant for locally sourced and sustainable ingredients, flavour and technique, the offerings include a rotating menu of breads, laminated pastries and regional bakes.

Chef Rachelle Andrade and Aditi Duggar TwentySeven Bakehouse Chef Rachelle Andrade and Aditi Dugar

In an interview, Dugar spoke about her latest venture. Excerpts:

What’s the thought behind adding one more bakery to the city?

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I think there’s always space for good baked products. When you travel abroad, you’re always gushing over one croissant somewhere, or some sourdough somewhere. My husband Aditya Dugar and I have been looking into the overall plan of what we want to do with our company Urban Gourmet India Pvt. Ltd. With all the expertise that we have at Masque and other brands, we have always felt a gap where we are always struggling with baked products. Even when I talk to people in small businesses, they have similar challenges because a chef is not a baker. It is so important to have a reliable bakery one can trust in terms of quality of ingredients and standard of products and one which is accessible in terms of pricing. That’s where the idea stemmed from.

Travel has been an inspiration as well…

When I got Covid, I was working on a project which got shelved. I had gone to Tel Aviv and I was very inspired by their bread culture. There was so much inspiration for bakery products being done in such a cool way. There was a no-nonsense approach and just really great tasting stuff, and that was how it was across the bakeries there. It totally blew me away. Even when I travel to other places, a lot of bakeries have inspired me in how they are pushing cross-cultural boundaries.

Travel is a huge inspiration for me as an entrepreneur. Connecting with like-minded people, whether it's chefs or entrepreneurs, exposing myself to what’s happening globally as well as within India is important for me. I’m quite cognizant of what is going on in my environment and I think all my brands get moulded accordingly. We want to be trendsetters and not just follow trends.

Alfajores Alfajores

Tell us about working with Chef Rachelle Andrade on this venture.

During Covid, I started thinking about making an attempt at making a really cool bakery. Then when I started chatting with Rachelle, she was also looking out for a fun opportunity and was very keen to join me. I was so excited about all my inspirations and six months earlier, we took a trip to Tel Aviv just to soak it all in. There was no agenda. It was just about absorbing and realising that there is no fixed rule of creating a bakery. The idea was really about creating a product category which we could take to all audiences, whether smaller businesses that need baked breads, or it could be homes that need great loaves of bread. I am fascinated by Rachelle’s approach to baking. She has such a soulful connection with the flour and water and the environment. The menu has a lot of newness whether it’s the Croissant Cubes or the Alfajores. There is an element of surprise, at the same time being approachable.

What are some of the future expansion plans with TwentySeven Bakehouse?

At present this is the central kitchen and also a cloud kitchen to other smaller businesses. The plan is to have a couple of them across the city and to eventually grow it pan India.
Deepali Singh is a Mumbai-based freelance journalist who writes on movies, shows, music, art, and food. Twitter: @DeepaliSingh05
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